The Maltese government has introduced a programme through which citizens from non-EU states can acquire Maltese citizenship. This automatically makes them citizens of the European Union (EU) and can therefore provide them with an EU passport and rights such as the free movement of persons and workers throughout the EU. This also includes visa-free travel to a total of 160 countries as well as open borders within the Schengen area. As part of the Maltese citizenship programme the main applicant can also file applications for eligible dependents such as spouses, children, parents or grandparents. All applications for national citizenship are carefully examined by the Malta Authority, the body responsible for the programme.
The “Malta Individual Investor Programme” (MIIP) requires investments in the region of 1.5 million euros for applicants, which includes an economic contribution to the Malta National Development & Social Fund as well as the acquisition or rental of a property. Applicants must prove that they own a property worth at least 350,000 euros or are renting for a minimum of 16,000 euros per year. Once acquired or rented, the property must remain under the ownership of the applicant for a minimum of five years. However, applicants are not obliged to live on Malta permanently.
The measures taken by the government pave the way for an increased demand for property on Malta. The programme is invigorating the market on the Mediterranean island and proving particularly attractive to investors from China. However, since the MIIP was introduced, buyers from the USA, South America and Russia have also shown a marked increase in interest in property on Malta and the associated prospect of EU citizenship.
If you would like to learn more about the “Malta Individual Investor Programme”, please do not hesitet to contact Engel & Völkers Malta!